Light Reading

Intel Buys Sparkolor's Assets

Light Reading
NFOEC News Analysis
Light Reading
9/17/2002
50%
50%

DALLAS -- NFOEC -- News has leaked out that Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) has bought the assets of yet another tunable laser company, Sparkolor Corp.

Jerry R. Bautista, director of technology and strategic marketing for Intel's photonics group, confirmed the news at the NFOEC show yesterday. He says Intel will announce the deal officially in the next few days.

Financial details were not disclosed, but it appears not to have been an outright acquisition. According to sources, Intel has purchased Sparkolor's intellectual property and hired some of its technical staff. The other assets of the company, including all its sales and marketing people, were not included in the deal.

Intel already has its own internally developed tunable laser technology, along with the tunable laser business of New Focus Inc. (Nasdaq: NUFO), which it scooped up in May this year, raising questions about how Sparkolor's technology will fit in with Intel's other optical acquisitions (see Intel Scoops Up New Focus Laser Unit).

According to Bautista, Intel is buying Sparkolor for its grating technology rather than its tunable lasers. "Sparkolor had some very interesting technology for thermally-tuned, polymer-enhanced gratings," he says.

More details of this technology are described in a patent that Light Reading unearthed last year (see Sparkolor Secrets Surface). Sparkolor had developed a thermally-tuned laser with the tuning section manufactured out of glass (silica). Glass is ideal for this application because its refractive index properties change strongly with temperature. However, adjacent sections of glass, which do not need tuning, will also be affected by the heat. Sparkolor's big idea was to use a polymer layer with an opposite refractive index change to compensate for the thermal effects in places where they were not desired.

Intel could use this kind of technology to make tunable filters and reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexers, or simply to temperature-stabilize glass-based optical components.

But while the technology sounds interesting, it is largely unproven. While companies both large and small have evangelized the properties of polymers, none has really had success in bringing polymer technology to market.

Sparkolor's investors included Optical Capital Group, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), and Storm Ventures.

Intel is still shopping for other startups, judging by remarks made by Gordon Hunter, general manager of Intel's optical products group, at last week's European Conference on Optical Communications (ECOC) in Copenhagen, Denmark.

At a dinner in the Tivoli Gardens, Hunter acknowledged that Intel still has some gaps in its optical component portfolio, and eventually (after some needling by Light Reading) he named two of them -- lasers and MEMS (micro-electromechanical systems). Sparkolor doesn't really fall into either of these categories.

— Pauline Rigby, Senior Editor, Light Reading
www.lightreading.com

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
gea
50%
50%
gea,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 9:45:52 PM
re: Intel Buys Sparkolor's Assets
Damn. Sure seems like Intel is thinking long term. Does anyone not believe that optical will one day return with a vengeance? When that happens, it looks like Intel will be right there. I'm amazed that Intel is able to operate with such a long term focus. Most companies are jettisoning assets that don't make money RIGHT NOW...

Any Intel employees out there? Is Intel really a smart company, or just lucky? Their track record is long enough that I'm starting believe the latter.
gea
50%
50%
gea,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 9:45:52 PM
re: Intel Buys Sparkolor's Assets
Damn. Sure seems like Intel is thinking long term. Does anyone not believe that optical will one day return with a vengeance? When that happens, it looks like Intel will be right there. I'm amazed that Intel is able to operate with such a long term focus. Most companies are jettisoning assets that don't make money RIGHT NOW...

Any Intel employees out there? Is Intel really a smart company, or just lucky? Their track record is long enough that I'm starting believe the latter.
LightBeating
50%
50%
LightBeating,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 9:45:45 PM
re: Intel Buys Sparkolor's Assets
Gea,

They look smart. They haven't made too many "crazy" (meaning $B+) acquisitions, liek everybody else during (and even after) the bubble. Rather, they go out there and scoop up the technology and good technical people from failed startups, at very low prices, and have a strong (albeit discreet) internal R&D program in optics. Yes, they could surprise everyone when the time comes.

LB
slhardy
50%
50%
slhardy,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 9:44:33 PM
re: Intel Buys Sparkolor's Assets
I think both. Strategy and luck are a good thing these days.
curious__george
50%
50%
curious__george,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 9:44:19 PM
re: Intel Buys Sparkolor's Assets
Yes, as an employee I can honestly say that the senior management "gets it". They do understand that the CPU business ($6B/qtr rev!) is impacted positively by bringing more bandwidth to the desktop. As such they support the long term objective of building an optical infrastructure. Further, they also understand that we cannot grow quickly enought organically and need to be aggressive in the marketplace through acquisitions and partnerships. It's not all rosey however, success in the CPU business does not necessarily mean success in photonics. The company must be flexible and be able to adjust to the very different photonics market. This is not easy for career Intel types.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Networks of the future will rely on "white box" switches and servers rather than proprietary hardware and that's going to alter the shape of the communications industry. Who says so? John Chambers.
LRTV Custom TV
The Benefits of HyperScale Clouds for NFV

3|27|15   |   01:50   |   (0) comments


Hyperscale cloud has been developed by the Internet giants to support the creation and delivery of software-based services at blistering speeds, and at the lowest possible cost. The original ETSI NFV vision was to adopt hyperscale cloud architecture and practices. This vision has become somewhat obscured along the way, due to misunderstandings about the hyperscale ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
eLTE Rapid Meets the Need for Speed

3|26|15   |   4:45   |   (0) comments


Designed especially for emergency and dedicated ad hoc local mobile communications coverage, Huawei's eLTE Rapid solution can deliver trunked voice, video and data coverage for multiple users over a 6km range and be set up in just 15 minutes, explains Huawei's Norman Frisch.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
On Videos: Challenges & Opportunities

3|26|15   |   5:56   |   (0) comments


Most everything is now connected. And along with 4K and 4G technologies, everyone could be creating and broadcasting video contents. Users are expecting better video experience with any screen, anywhere and anytime. Operators will meet new challenges, but also see some big opportunities.
LRTV Custom TV
JDSU: Delivering Dynamic Networks for a Personalized Experience

3|26|15   |   5:59   |   (0) comments


Light Reading speaks to JDSU at Mobile World Congress 2015 about new solutions in the areas of HetNets, VoLTE, backhaul, virtualization, big data analytics, and real-time intelligence.
LRTV Custom TV
Smarter Service Chaining & New Ways to Benefit From Qosmos Technology

3|25|15   |   03:11   |   (0) comments


David Le Goff, director of strategic and product marketing at Qosmos, explains how the company has added application awareness to subscriber information to make service chaining more efficient and reduce costs for networking and infrastructure. In addition, Qosmos technology, which has been delivered as C libraries, is now also available as a virtual machine, ...
Between the CEOs
Qosmos CEO: The Changing Face of DPI

3|24|15   |   13:53   |   (0) comments


LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures. Also, how the comms market is becoming more like the automotive industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
FC Schalke Scores With Its Agile Stadium

3|24|15   |   6:23   |   (0) comments


Top German soccer club FC Schalke 04 has deployed a new, agile WiFi network from Huawei in its Veltins-Arena stadium and is reaping the benefits in terms of customer satisfaction and business opportunities, explains marketing chief Alexander Jobst.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Insights on Mobile Video

3|24|15   |   7:51   |   (0) comments


More people than ever are now watching videos on smartphones. Seventy percent of mobile traffic will be video traffic until 2018. In this video, Huawei's exports give their insights on mobile video in terms of business model, network planning and 4G network construction.
LRTV Documentaries
The Rise of Industry 4.0

3|24|15   |   02:26   |   (9) comments


Are you ready for the fourth industrial revolution? It's a big deal for influential operators such as Deutsche Telekom.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Getting Connected With eLTE

3|23|15   |   06:04   |   (0) comments


Trunked radio communications have entered the 4G LTE world, and with Huawei's eLTE solution, can now deliver a full range of data and video services as well as push-to-talk voice, explains Huawei's Norman Frisch.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Funkwerk’s on Track With Huawei

3|19|15   |   3:23   |   (0) comments


GSM-R technology specialist Funkwerk and Huawei have forged a partnership that is benefiting both parties, notes Funkwerk's Gottfried Winter.
LRTV Documentaries
How EANTC Tested Cisco's Virtualization Solutions

3|18|15   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Carsten Rossenhövel, managing director of independent test lab EANTC, tells Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the innovative approach his team had to take when validating Cisco's service provider virtualization and cloud solutions.
Upcoming Live Events
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 5, 2015, Hyatt McCormick Place, Chicago, IL
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
AT&T Woos SMBs With Small-Scale WiFi
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/26/2015
The Rise of Industry 4.0
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 3/24/2015
Google Hires Wall Street's Most Influential Woman as CFO
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 3/24/2015
Average US Broadband Speeds No Great Shakes
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 3/25/2015
Net Neutrality Suits: Only The Beginning?
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 3/24/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures.
Chattanooga’s EPB publicly owned utility comms company has become a poster child for how to enable a local economy using next-gen networking technology. Steve Saunders, Founder of Light Reading, sits down with Harold DePriest, president and CEO of EPB, to learn how EPB is bringing big time tech to small town America.
Cats with Phones
Interspecies Phone Love Click Here
"No, you hang up."
"No, YOU hang up."
Latest Comment